The signs of gum disease are bleeding, especially when brushing your teeth, and swollen, red or sore gums. If left untreated, gum disease can affect the bone supporting your teeth, causing teeth to fall out.
Prevention is always better than cure!
Regular trips to your dentist or hygienist will greatly reduce the chances of gum disease developing by removing the main cause, which is plaque. A regular “scale and polish” from your dentist or therapist plus daily flossing and proper brushing, will keep your teeth plaque-free and prevent more costly treatments.
Oral Health Advice
Gum disease is not curable, but it is treatable and in most cases, controllable. As dentists and hygienists we can do a lot to help, mainly by giving you a regular scale and polish. However, there is much that you can do to prevent gum disease getting worse:
Avoid smoking, which builds up tartar levels in your mouth
Avoid stress, which makes it difficult for our immune system to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections
Visit your dentist/therapist/hygienist on a regular basis and be guided by them on your dental hygiene routine – flossing, brushing correctly and using a good mouthwash.
Clean between your teeth with the aid of dental floss, special brushes and/or dental sticks
Research has shown that 20-30% of people have immune systems that over-react to the bad bacteria in their mouths, which is why it is so important to get checked regularly. Also, in a small percentage of patients, certain medical conditions can be brought on by gum disease, e.g. heart disease, stroke, diabetes or premature birth.
There are 2 types of fillings: amalgam which is the traditional silver-coloured filling and composite, which is a tooth-coloured, plastic resin and glass mixture.
Amalgam contains mercury which in the past sometimes caused medical problems, but modern methods of combining it with other materials now render it harmless. Amalgam is durable and long-lasting.
Composite fillings look more attractive, but they don’t last as long as amalgam. However, new materials are becoming available and are proving very successful. Your dentist will talk you through the various options suitable for your teeth.
Composites are more natural-looking fillings as a colour is chosen to match your existing teeth. The material used is moulded to copy the shape of your original tooth. First the decay is removed from your tooth, the cavity is then filled and the composite filling bonded in place. Your dentist will explain this treatment to you in detail before carrying out the procedure.
A crown is a cap that is placed over a damaged tooth and held in place by dental glue or cement. Crowns are used for several reasons:
As a protective cover for badly decayed or broken teeth
As a permanent restoration for teeth with large fillings or Root Canal Treatment.
To correct minor problems in natural teeth, such as gaps, irregular shape or severe discolouration & when veneers are not more suitable.
Crowns are made of materials that keep their colour and texture for a long time, but the tooth underneath still needs to be checked on a regular basis to see if there is any decay or gum disease.
Tooth whitening (or professional home bleaching) is an effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth without removing any of the tooth surface. Teeth naturally get slightly yellower or discolour as we get older
There are several reasons why people get their teeth professionally whitened.
- Surface stains from drinking tea, coffee, red wine, & spicy foods etc.
- Tiny cracks in the teeth which take up stains
Under-surface stains caused by certain antibiotics as teeth are forming require slightly more than professionally supplied home bleaching can achieve & require assessing on an individual basis. Our dentists can advise you on what's best & safest for your teeth.
Veneers are thin, tooth-coloured shells made of composite resin or porcelain, custom-made to cover the front side of teeth. They are used to:
Cover up internal stains
Correct poorly formed or slightly badly positioned teeth
Close minor gaps between teeth
Restore partially broken-down teeth
The veneer is bonded to the tooth enamel with a tooth-coloured resin cement.
Before under-going this treatment, your dentist will explain the advantages and disadvantages; for example, this process is usually irreversible & often requires some preparation of the tooth by removing some enamel.
It is sometimes necessary to have an untreatable tooth removed (or for Orthodontics), but with modern dental techniques and effective numbing (Local anaesthetic) of the area involved, having a tooth removed is no longer to be feared!
Most extractions can be done very easily at our surgery, but on the increasingly rare occasions when this is not possible, your dentist will refer you to hospital or a specialist colleague. You may rest assured that every care will be taken to ensure the procedure is as pain-free as possible.
Modern dentures are much more elegant than old-fashioned “false teeth”. With proper colour-matching techniques and better fitting, people will have difficulty realising that you have dentures at all. The cost does vary according to the material used and your dentist will talk you through all the options available to you.
Aftercare is equally important to us as it is to the health of your mouth, so you will still need regular check-ups, for such things as Oral cancer.